Friday, January 21, 2011

Kevin Bauder on the KJV Bible

 Over on the Original KJV Only Debate Blog, Kevin Bauder's recent statements regarding the KJV have been posted, here:

Bauder on the KJV

We recommend the reader to that post to read the full commentary.  Here we only want to examine a few pertinent points. The host poster introduces these comments with the following words:
"Kevin Bauder, who is no friend of King James Onlyism, nevertheless explains why he thinks the King James Bible is the best available translation and the one he chooses to use. ..."

In a remarkable summary of his current position,  Mr. Bauder himself makes the following statement:
"...Worse, the comparison of versions has made the Word of God into a consumer commodity. In order to attract the purchasing public, every new translation, paraphrase, and amplification has to have its own signature features. Its publisher must convince readers of the in-sufficiency of all previous versions. The purchase of a Bible becomes akin to the selection of a designer tie or perfume. One chooses a version like one chooses a flavor of soda. How can the transitory nature of modern versions not cast aspersion upon the enduring nature of God’s Word, and, consequently, of His character?"
The first thing we may do is appreciate the candor and honesty of these observations.   Its clear from his many criticisms of KJVOnly claims that he is not attacking modern versions on ideological or religious grounds.   He has obviously used many modern translations with positive results, and knows their value.

But his observation here is remarkable on at least two counts:

(1)  He is surely right that there has been a real shift in attitude and respect toward the word of God generally, as a result of the proliferation of modern versions and the devaluing of previous translations and even competing modern versions by sellers desiring to maximise sales.

(2) But if putting down "out of date" translations (like the KJV) has resulted in a net loss of respect for, and faith in the "word of God" as represented by the Bible, how much more damage must deleting hundreds of verses, and filling every modern version with hundreds of footnotes casting uncertainty upon the words and phrasing of Holy Scripture have done to the authority and trust in God's word? 

If Kevin Bauder can concede the damage plainly done by free-market competition in Bible translations, and consumerism, will he be able to see that the same problem results from uncontrolled editing of the text, combined with terse and confusing footnotes?


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